2003. Latest mix of exotic instrumentation and evocative
ambience from the man who recorded one of our all-time
favorites, Lilin Dewa.
Loren Nerell's association with Soleilmoon Recordings dates back to
his 1996 release "Lilin Dewa", as well as the more recent "Indonesian Soundscapes". "Taksu" takes cues from both of
these albums, blending environmental sounds and Balinese instruments together into a glowing, amorphous cloud of
spine-tingling sound. Two musicians come to mind when listening to "Taksu": Jon Hassell, who popularized Fourth
World music, and Brian Eno, the father of Ambient music. While sounding nothing like the work of either artist,
Loren Nerell's music takes inspiration from both of them. His music is evocative of mist-covered mountains and
slow-motion waterfalls, so it owes something to Hassell. But it also pays tribute to the patient genius of Eno,
with its endlessly evolving atmosphere, in which there is no beginning or end, only the present. The crowning
touch on this project came from Steve Roach, stalwart Ambient Music pioneer and long-time friend of Loren's,
who came in to provide the final spacial treatments and mastering of the CD. In his liner notes for the CD
booklet, Djam Karet founder Chuck Oken, Jr. describes the music as a "sound pool" that the listener is
immersed in. His words couldn't be more accurate, and it's no exaggeration to say that putting this record on
is like waking up at sunrise, deep in the tropical Balinese rainforest, surrounded on all sides by the sounds
of the jungle. To describe ambient or atmospheric music as "a soundtrack" is clichéd, but it's really the best
way to talk about "Taksu". It truely is a very special album, and one that asks to be seen, not merely heard.
"To simply classify Loren Nerell as just an ambient composer is missing the point. I'd rather refer to Loren
Nerell as a sound traveller. Either as a real traveller, armed with a microphone and tape-recorder, to Indonesia,
taping sounds from traditional instruments, but also a traveller that takes you, the listener on a journey through
the world. In that sense, Loren Nerell is more an ambient composer along the lines of Brian Eno or Jon Hassell and
has less in common with Steve Roach or Robert Rich, for whom the pure instrument approach seems to be important.
'Taksu - an intervention from the gods, endowing a man, or perhaps a ritualobject, with divine direction. In a
sense Taksu is the essence of a great performance or work of art' - it says on the cover. Can't really argue with
the essense of a great performance or work of art, but this is a nice piece of music. Rainforest sounds, far away
percussion (drum sounds, maybe anklung or gamelan), which are all embedded in a rich textured sound, but not that
of a whole bunch of digital sounds, but it's rather, or so it seems, a treatment of those sounds by electronic means.
This CD is maybe not just music, it's rather a bath: you take it, it surrounds you for a while and then you feel good.
Taksu is like a hot bath, it fills the space, the environment, it's a surrounding that is nice to be in. And unlike
a bath: you can put a CD on repeat and will still feel good and will never get cold."
--Vital E-Zine, Frans DeWaard